I am in an large, entry level course targeted at engineers. A few weeks ago, I was reading for another class while my professor covered material I was familiar with, and she marked me down as absent for at least one and maybe two classes. She has a strict attendance policy so that she gives a 5 percent penalty for missing three or more classes, and I already have three marked absences.
The only relevant section in the syllabus says, "Good manners provide the foundation for proper classroom behavior: arrive on time, listen attentively and take detailed notes, remain quietly in your seat until dismissed by the instructor." There is a strict no-screen policy, but nothing about reading.
I am considering taking it up the ladder and arguing that she should have asked me to put the book away if she wanted me to, as I spoke to her multiple times between the time of the alleged offense and becoming aware that she had penalized me for it. Do I have a good chance of a grade appeal? on merit? statistically?
She is a teaching only professor, so I assume she doesn't have huge sway in the department. It is a ginormous class at a large school though, so I probably don't either.